Last days of February!

Another week has begun, and it seems the weeks fly by so quickly. I cannot believe this week my little boy will be 2 years old, but there will be a post about that later in the week. This past week included lots of fun in the Stevenson house.

Logan got a hold of my Food Network Magazine, and found that he wanted to Fish crackers.

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While I was giving him his breakfast he kept saying “cracker.” Well he was in luck because we went to Target later, and he got some Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies.

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He was very excited, and filled his tummy. To my delight, he was so content he took an hour nap!

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For those who may not be aware, Logan usually does not nap, ever, and at this rare event I took care of some neglected homework.

On Saturday, Doug and I went to Almond Blossom with Justine and her cousin Jaime, but we left Logan at home deciding it was to windy for him. I did not want him to get his cold back since he is having pictures taken tomorrow. After some pastries, and checking out the booths, Doug and I went home to find a surprise on the porch. Logan received his first birthday present from his Great-Grandpa and Grandma Hope. Logan had to model his new shirt while we were taking a walk yesterday, he looks so cute, and I cannot wait to take him to the beach to wear the board shorts that match!

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After our walk, we had some dinner, and Daddy broke out the Birthday Cake Oreos. Logan said “Cookie” repeatedly, so we gave him his first Oreo. Doug looks so pleased.

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Logan calls them “Oroos,” and he enjoyed sharing with Daddy.

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So, that is what went on in our house this last week. For the remainder of the week, I will be preparing for Logan’s Birthday Party, and spoiling him with his favorite foods. Have a great week everyone!

Rainy Day and Blue Bayou Gumbo!

The week, so far, has been almost back to normal! My mom is doing so much better, and it looks like she is almost done with at home nurses coming! I have finally caught up on the majority of my homework, and have begun cleaning my sadly neglected house. Logan is being good, so I figured I better give the house some attention. My kitchen island has looked like a tornado hit it for almost a month, and this would normally drive me crazy. However, I was so tired I could have cared less, but this morning it started to bother me and I went into total house cleaning mode. Now I can officially say Doug will be surprised when he gets home from the farm today!

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Logan enjoying Toy Story.

So as I compete prep for tomorrows dinner, and finish my laundry let me tell you about Blue Bayou’s Gumbo from Disneyland. It is the most amazing soup I have ever had, and not just due to the fact I eat it every time I visit The Happiest Place on Earth. This Gumbo is full of flavor, and has so many different textures. Since I discovered the recipe it has become a staple in my household, because Doug completely loves it.

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If you go to Blue Bayou, this is the wonderfulness you will be served.

I do not cook my Roux as long, so the color of mine is slightly lighter. This however does not make it less flavorful! The Roux is the first step to the soup, and let me tell you this terrified me. Once I got it down it was no problem.

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This is what it looks like, and it tastes fantastic! (Sorry about the picture quality, I could only find Doug’s phone and the camera isn’t as good as my iPhone) So, here it is, the Blue Bayou Gumbo recipe.

Blue Bayou Gumbo

from Disneyland

2 Ounces Roux – 1/4 c. butter and flour

2 Medium Yellow Onions, diced

1 c. Celery, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 c. Chicken Broth

12 ounces Meat of choice – Shrimp, sausage, chicken

1 – 6oz diced tomatoes

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1/3 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Gumbo file

salt to taste

2 c. Cooked Rice

-Bring butter to room temperature then melt on low heat in saucepan, slowly add flour and cook until desired color. Either blonde or golden brown.

-Add onion & celery for 4 minutes, then add garlic for 1 more minute.

-Add the broth to dissolve the Roux, simmer for 10 minutes. Add all ingredients, except the file and shrimp(if using), and simmer 30 minutes.

-Add shrimp and cook until they are a white/pink color, then add the file. Serve over rice and Enjoy!

P.S. I am loving this weather, hope all of you enjoy it as much as I do!

Valentine’s Day Sweet Corn Lasagna!

It has been awhile since my last post, my apologies, but the last few weeks have been exhausting. My mother is recovering from two surgeries, and her infection is healing well. Unfortunately she still has a ways to go until she is 100%, and I cannot wait until I have my Mommy back to her normal self. 

Being that today is Valentine’s Day I wanted to make something special for my two Valentine’s! As many of you may know my favorite chef is Giada De Laurentiis, and what I made for dinner is one of her recipes. However, this is a special one due to the fact she made it for The Duke and Duchess on their trip to California, which meant I absolutely HAD to try it! This is not just your average lasagna, it is a cheese lovers heaven, and has an amazing texture and flavor. The sweetness is what makes it decadent, but not over powering. As a plus it uses one of my favorites Marscarpone Cheese!

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The first step is to make the filling by using a food processor. Once mixed it will look like this.

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It may look weird, but trust me it is amazing! Next step is to boil the lasagna noodles, and put them in an “X” pattern.

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This one was Logan’s, since he said he wanted the “Blo” ramekin 🙂 so precious.

Next layer the filling with some cheese, then fold two sheets over. Repeat that step on more time, and top with as much cheese that will fit. (or you could follow the measurements, but I firmly believe too much cheese is impossible)

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Here is Doug’s looking beautiful, and ready for the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, and you will have one good looking lasagna!

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Once it sits for 10 minutes they slide right out, and stay perfectly formed on the plate to enjoy!

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This beauty was mine, and there was NO way I was sharing. So yummy, and had I made more than 3 I’m positive they all would have been eaten!

After we enjoyed our wonderful lasagna, Logan and I gave his Daddy a Valentine’s Day present. 007 Skyfall, now all we need to do is play with little Logan until it’s his bedtime, then we can watch our movie. I am fairly certain Logan is far too young for 007 🙂

 

Sweet Corn Lasagna

6 servings

Adopted from Giada De Laurentiis

12 Lasagna sheets (cooked according to directions on box)

3 c. frozen Corn, thawed

1/2 c. whole milk or heavy cream

3 garlic cloves

1 c. (8oz) Mascarpone Cheese

1 c. (4oz) Cheddar Cheese

1 lemon, zested

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

3/4 c. fresh Spinach

1 c. Mozzarella

-Spray or butter 6 Ramekins (10oz size)

-Preheat oven 375 degrees, cook noodles, then place in “X” shape.

-Blend corn, milk/cream, and garlic until creamy. Add Mascarpone, 1 c. Cheddar, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and Spinach until smooth.

-Spoon 1/4 cup of filling in each ramekin, top with 2 Tablespoons of Mozzarella, then fold over two lasagna sheets. Repeat. If any filling left put it on top and add more cheese. Drizzle with Olive Oil and bake for 30 minutes. Lasagna will be golden brown, bubbly, and beautiful! Let them set 10 minutes, then dig in (with manner of course).

Hope all of you enjoyed Valentine’s Day! I’m off to read my little Valentine his “Hawy Sowies,” which is his way of saying he wants to hear stories about Harry Potter. We are almost done with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and he already loves them! I am very pleased about this as many of you can imagine. 🙂 Until next time!

 

 

Top Baby Items

While playing with Logan the other day, I realized how many people I know are pregnant or just had a baby. So, I decided to do a post about my favorite baby products and brands! To all those to be mothers, or those who just became mothers, enjoy!

I will start with counting down my top 5 baby products:

5) Cups and bottles that do not leak – Tommee Tippee bottles do not leak, and are made for breast feed babies. This means they can breast feed or use the bottle, and it gives the Daddy a chance to help with feeding(and gives the Mommy a break). Munchkin cups are the only ones I have found that do not leak.

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4) Anti-Monkey Butt powder and cream – Forget Desitine, it does not clear up rashes near as well. Plus, the monkey on the containers are so cute!

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3) The Tommee Tippee sterilizer – I love this thing, it makes cleaning bottles so easy. I refuse to put bottles in the dishwasher, because of the dishwasher detergent residue. The sterilizer takes about 5 minutes to clean everything and 5 minutes to cool, so you are done cleaning everything in under 20 minutes.

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2) Munchkin Diaper Pail – I will be honest, I had a hard time deciding between this and the Diaper Genie. However, the refills for this are way cheaper than the Genie, and it has a compartment for baking soda to ensure no smell gets out.

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And the number one spot goes to…..

1) The Playpen

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This is a small Playpen that has a bassinet that attaches to the inside, and was the perfect size for our bedroom. Once Logan outgrew it we got a larger one.

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This makes it so I can change the laundry, or unload the dishwasher without worrying where Logan is at. However, he is almost able to climb out now, so I only use it when I have no other choice. The two shown are made by Graco, but we have another made be Joovy(quite an adequate name do you think), which is larger than both.

So those are my top items. Some of you may be thinking, What? No baby holders/carriers?! To that I say certainly not, they look so unforatable for the baby, so I refuse to use them. Plus, I am old school, carry your baby the natural way.

Now on to the best brands.

By my top items one can see Munchkin, Tommee Tippee, and Graco are all great brands as far as products go. When it comes to food, I feed Logan mostly organic and natural foods. The best baby food I’ve found is Plum Organics and Earth’s Best Organic. They both mix fruit with vegetables to ensure your little one gets the nutrients needed. Another brand I love it Annie’s Homegrown Organics, Logan love the assorted Bunnie Grahams.

Books are a staple in my home, not just for me, but for Logan as well. Eric Carle books are fantastic, and the picture are so colorful they command a child’s attention. Pretty much any book that teaches the basics are great. We have a dear friend of the family that always gives Logan books, and this Christmas they got him The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh. Logan and I just finished it, and I would recommend it be part of your home library.

I hope this post helps you make decisions about what to get for your little one. Now it is time to begin prepping Gumbo for later. Not just any gumbo though, Blue Bayou at Disneyland’s Gumbo! Enjoy your Sunday all!

This entry was posted on January 27, 2013. 1 Comment

Craving cookies!

The last week and a half has been long, stressful, and about a hundred other different things. Last Monday I started back to school, and I am so glad all of my classes are online except one. However, online does mean more work on my own, which was the beginning of my crazy week. Tuesday my mom had surgery, and thankfully it went well. The test results have already come back, and I praise God she does not have cancer. She is in a lot of pain though due to the fact she developed an infection, but I am making sure she has nothing major to take care of around the house. Logan does not understand why Grammy cannot pick him up, so he has been increasingly cranky during the day.

Nothing major has happened since my last post, but Logan and I did get new hair cuts! This was Logan’s first one, and Nadia did such an amazing job keeping him entertained.

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He looks as handsome!

Due to all the stress, I had a need for cookies, so I decided to make a batch of the cookies Doug requested White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal.

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This is the finished product, and don’t get me wrong, they are amazing cookies. Sadly, once they were in the oven the smell was not satisfying my cookie craving. As I stood at my island, I noticed on the Ghirardelli White Chips package a recipe for White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies. White Choc Macadamia is one of my favorite cookies, the batter is so sweet, and it has the most amazing smell. Suddenly I knew what I wanted, and started on my second batch of cookies for the day. I did not have macadamia nuts, so I used walnuts (AKA my favorite nut).

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Once the batter was mixed, and the smell was killing me, I quickly put the first batch in the oven. A soon as they were out of the oven and slightly cooled, I satisfied my craving.

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It would be dishonest of me to say that I only ate one, so I will admit, I had three. This is hands down my new favorite cookie, and Logan enjoyed it also! I hope you do as well!

White Chocolate Walnut Cookies

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1 egg, room temp.

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c. White Chocolate Chips

3/4 c. chopped Walnuts

-Preheat oven to 350, cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. A dry ingredients. Gently stir in chips and walnuts. Drop by tablespoon fulls on baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy the rest of the week, and make some cookies! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on January 23, 2013. 1 Comment

4th Anniversary

Four years sure has flown by fast, and I can hardly believe four years ago today Doug and I were married! So many memories have been created over the past for years! The list includes the birth of our son, our second honeymoon to Disneyworld, and taking Logan to Disneyland for the first time! Memories will also be created with the events to come in our future. This list has so many things on it I cannot even begin to list them all, but watching Logan grow is certainly at the top.

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Engagement Pictures

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Our Wedding

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Our Honeymoon at Disneyland!

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This honeymoon picture was taken after we ate at The Rainforest Cafe. I was SO hyper due to the fact I had 7 Diet Cokes at dinner.  🙂

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Our second honeymoon to Walt Disneyworld!

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The trip to Disneyworld is the best vacation of my entire life. I cannot wait to be able to take Logan when he is older, and be able to eat at Yak and Yeti (Pan-Asian food) again!

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One of Logan’s newborn pictures with his favorite cat (that we miss dearly) Crookshanks.

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Logan’s first time to Disneyland!

It is my hope, and prayer, that God blesses us as family in the years to come as he has these past four years. Thank you to everyone who remembers us in your daily prayers, and those who think about us often. A special thank you to my Mom and Dad. The two of you are such a blessing to us, and we are so incredibly thankful for all you do for us. It is accurate to say we would not be where we are today if not for your special love and support.

 

This entry was posted on January 11, 2013. 1 Comment

New Years and Birthday

The last couple weeks have been super busy, which is not abnormal, but at night I find myself exhausted. Logan is getting more active by the day, but he has started to play quietly by himself. As a family, we had a nice, quiet New Years with no parties just us and season one of Once Upon A Time. It was perfect.

On December 30, we celebrated my 23rd Birthday, which was on January 4. I had so much fun, and loved having my family over for lunch and cake!

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Me with the cake my Mom and Dad got. Marble Cake with a Vanilla Custard, and whipped frosting (not nasty buttercream)!

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Mom and Dad with their little Princess and Doug!

For my birthday dinner I chose to go to my favorite Mexican Restaurant, Esmeraldas in Ripon. The food is so good, and the green sauce is nice and spicy! When I was pregnant with Logan we ate their almost every week, since it was one of the only things I could keep down.

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Logan waiting patiently for his tamale with Mommy 🙂

On Saturday, Doug and I went out to lunch for our Anniversary early, since he is having a busy week of planting. He took me to my favorite Chinese Restaurant Golden Bowl! I ordered the Chicken Fried Rice with Broccoli Chicken, and my favorite appetizer Crab Rangoon.

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I ate everything on the plate, and could have eaten more Crab Rangoon.

Logan is all ready to go to work in the orchard with Daddy and Papa!

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The rest of the week will be filled with preparing for school to start, and hoping everything goes well next week for my mom. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the week!